Law School Acronyms, Jargon and Terminology


Lawyers (and future lawyers) love jargon. It might seem like half the of the words on the law school forums are in code, so here is a list to help you understand law school lingo. We don’t promise learning any of this will make you cooler (in fact, it may do just the opposite), however, if you want into the legal world this is the entry level terminology you have to know to understand what people are talking about. Here is a list of law school, LSAT prep, and law school admissions acronyms to help you on your way:

0L – A law school applicant. This term comes from the standard law school system whereby first-year students are called “1Ls”, second-year students are “2Ls”, and third-year students are “3Ls”
ABA- American Bar Association. A voluntary association of lawyers who among other activities oversee law school accreditation
Adcomm – Admission committee/admission committee member
ASD – Admitted Students’ Day
ASW – Admitted Students’ Weekend
BarBri – A well known bar prep company
BC – Boston College
Bibles – PowerScore logic games, reading comprehension and logical reasoning study guides
BP – BluePrint (LSAT prep)
BU – Boston University
BPVM – Berkeley, Penn, Virginia, Michigan
CCN – Chicago, Columbia, NYU
COA – Court of Appeals
CLS – Columbia Law School
CSO– Career Services Office. Also often called the OCS (‘Office of Career Services’) depending on the school.
Ding – Rejection from a law school
EA – Early Action: a non-binding application whereby you apply early and get a decision by a specified date
ED – Early Decision – a binding application option whereby you apply early, hear back by a certain date, and you must attend that law school should you be accepted (though you retain the option not to attend law school at all).
E&E – Examples & Explanations. A series of primers covering various legal subjects you learn in law school. Frequently used by 1Ls as a to supplement to study for exams.
GMU – George Mason University
GULC – Georgetown
GWU – George Washington University
HLS – Harvard Law School
HYS – Harvard, Yale, Stanford
IP – Intellectual property
K– A symbol meaning ‘contract’
LG – Logic games, also known as analytical reasoning. One of the three section types on the LSAT
LLM– Master of Laws. Usually a degree for foreign students who have already taken the equivalent of a J.D. in their country. LLMs for Tax are commonly taken by domestic law students.
LOCI – Letter of continued interest, used to show a school that has waitlisted you or otherwise withheld your decision that you remain interested in attending
LOR – Letter of recommendation
LR – Logical reasoning. One of the three section types on the LSAT. Also stands for ‘law review’, a student run legal journal present at most schools that generally requires you to grade on by being among the top students in the 1L class.
LSAT – The Law School Admissions Test. A test required for admission to all ABA approved law schools
NYLS – New York Law School
OCI – On-Campus Interview
PI – Public interest
PS – Personal statement or PowerScore, an LSAT prep company
RC – Reading comprehension
Socratic– Socratic Method. The method of questioning that law professors employ during class, where they ask you questions and guide you to the answer rather than provide it outright
SC– Supreme Court
SCOTUS – Supreme Court of The United States
SLS – Stanford Law School
T1 – Tier one schools according to USNWR (1-50)
T2 – Tier 2 (50-104)
T3 – Tier 3 (105-139)
T4 – Tier 4 (the rest)
T5 – The top 5 law school- confusing I know. T5 is better than all of T1 through T3
T14 – The top 14 schools, so called because they historically always rank in the top 14 of the USNWR rankings
TLS – Top Law Schools, a law school forum
TM – TestMasters (LSAT prep)
TTT – Third tier toilet, derogatory reference to 3rd and 4th tier schools. Also sometimes means ‘Top Tier Toilet’ a joke to imply that even certain tier 1 schools might have less than desirable job prospects
UCB – University of California, Berkeley
UG – Undergrad
U of C – University of Chicago. Our Alma Mater. Now more frequently referred to as ‘UChicago’
URM – Under-represented minority
USNWR – US News and World Report’s Law School Rankings
V10/V100 – The top 10 an 100 firms, as ranked by Vault
W&L – Washington and Lee
W&M – William and Mary
WL – Waitlist/Waitlisted
WS – Writing sample
WUSTL – Washington University in St Louis
YLS – Yale Law School
YP – Yield protect, a possible explanation for getting waitlisted when you are a very strong applicant for a school. They don’t accept you outright, assuming that you will likely attend elsewhere, so as to keep their selectivity lower (which helps them in the USNWR rankings). Writing a LOCI will often get you off the waitlist.

(Source: Credit for most of this list goes to a forum poster. Thanks for explaining all this terminology back when I was a 0L!)

This list is not exhaustive. If you run across anything that you don’t understand, please ask in the comments. Also, feel free to suggest additions if you see any glaring omissions. Thank you!


University of Chicago, J.D., 2012 -- CLICK HERE to find out how I got a 177 on the LSAT. Ready to Kickstart your LSAT Prep? Join the LSAT Mastermind Study Group

1 Comment

  1. David Storobin on

    I was confused with the terminology of “SCOTUS”

    Thanks for the information and all the jargons. I’ve bookmarked the article.

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